March 18, 2022
AN ARTIST'S PLACE
Photography by Simone Batini
Words by Karin Svadlenak Gomez
Simone Batini is a landscape and documentary photographer based in the Tuscany region of Italy. In his continuous search for new work activities to document, he met the artist Emanuele De Reggi in Pietrasanta. During the summer of 2021 he dedicated himself to the realization of a photographic series that aims to retell visually this sculptor and painter's work process and and expertise, but also his place and everyday environment. The result is a wonderful photo essay redolent with the moody photographic images Simone is so good at producing.
"An artist is someone who never stops the act of observation, he nourishes himself with everything at any time and attempts supreme awareness of it within his own artwork."
Emanuele De Reggi
Simone wanted to document the creation of art and to experience it, and in the first part, the series describes the processing of various materials, including marble, wood, wax, bronze, etc. that come to life from the expert hands and techniques that this artist has learned and refined over the years, in the second part the photos show us some moments of daily life in the artist's house, which is next to the workshop. He is surrounded by various works, accompanied by art in his everyday life.
Emanuele De Reggi is a well known Italian sculptor, painter, and photographer. He was born in the home town of great art, Florence, and his grandfather Emanuele Cavalli was also a well known painter of the Roman School art movement. His artistic career took him around the world, living in various countries throughout his career. After his first world tour following his graduation from secondary school, De Reggi took art classes at the Free School of Nude in Florence, but returned to live in Australia for three years. It was there that he began his work as a sculptor, carving large wood figures. On his return to Pietrasanta in Tuscany in 1984, De Reggi began perfecting his sculpting skills in a collaboration with the sculptor Giulio Ciniglia. Soon life took him to foreign fields again, living in New York and Barcelona for a number of years. In 1990, however, he set up his own artist studio in Pietrasanta, where he still lives and works today, albeit interrupted by stays in Bangkok and other places.
De Reggi´s work comprises wood carvings, stone sculptures, bronze casts, iron sculptures, sculptures in burnt clay (terracotta), as well as an amazing array of drawings and paintings. His works have been widely exhibited, both in different Italian cities and around the world, including in New York, Geneva, and other places. His sculptures can be found in public places, such as two commissioned large statues in the city of Newport News, Virginia, and a prize winning fountain sculpture for the fountain of Ostellato main square in Ferrara.
In an interview for the Italian culture magazine "Prometeo" in 2002, De Reggi said, "I express myself in sculpture because I have a great passion for the material. Stone doesn’t give you the same freedom as a pencil but it’s the only one with such a strong soul that the exchange of sensations justifies the act of sculpting. I feel tied to organic stones; I like warm stones like Iranian travertine, calcareous stones, though I can work many other materials with the same passion."
Simone feels privileged to have had a chance to spend time with this accomplished artist and to be allowed to document his work process and his home environment in Italy.